362.1113/14: Telegram

The Ambassador in Germany (Dodd) to the Secretary of State

167. My 165, October 13, 5 p.m.47 I had a half an hour’s interview last night with Neurath. Not only the profuseness of his apologies but also the subject matter of his conversation make me feel that the question of a possible affront may be dismissed.

I recalled to him our conversation of September 14 and pointed out that in spite of all that had been said then and the recognition of the seriousness of the situation on the part of some of the German leaders absolutely nothing had been done since that time as far as we knew that [Page 395]could be construed as an effective deterrent to a recurrence of such incidents. I called his attention to the fact that both the Department and the Embassy had exercised great forbearance and patience in trying to maintain an atmosphere that would enable the authorities more readily to take the necessary measures, but that this patience could not be strained indefinitely. I pointed out that quite independently of any incitation on our part the American press was very much wrought up over this matter. I further observed that in view of the innate orderliness of the German people if an effort were made to stop these assaults by proper punitive measures and adequate publicity in the German press the public would support the effort.

Neurath replied that he had been engaged the whole day in arguing (impliedly with Hitler, Goering and Goebbels) along the lines above indicated. He expressed deep appreciation of your and the Embassy’s consistent attitude in the premises.

He then specifically stated that he had been laboring with Goering that day on the question of adequate deterrent measures in connection with the assaults upon foreigners. Goering had promised him a list of names and places of men who were in concentration camps because they had attacked Americans; the list though promised was not forthcoming yesterday but Goering finally undertook to deliver it today. (I am skeptical both as to the existence of such a list and as to its production).

To my specific question “Does the Chancellor realize the great danger of this situation?” Neurath. replied that he thought he did. But he then added the ominous statement that the Chancellor had told him (Neurath) that the S. A. had recently refused to obey an order which the Chancellor had issued to them. Further specific information in this connection was not vouchsafed.

In conclusion I left with Neurath the Velz affidavit and stated that we definitely expected speedy and adequate action in the premises.

Dodd
  1. Not printed; it reported that on the morning of October 13 Ambassador Dodd called at the Foreign Office by appointment to see Herr von Neurath, but was told that the Foreign Minister was unable to see him because of other important engagements. The Ambassador was unable to obtain an interview until that night. (362.1113/13)